One giant leap for victory

By Eric Carlstrom

The rain certainly didn’t make hosting the NCAA Division II
National Championships and more than 600 student-athletes from
around the country any easier, but track and field head coach Troy
Johnson was still pleased with the event and the performances of
his athletes, especially Jasmine Winn.

“Spirits stayed high, and the competition was great,” Johnson
said. “This weather didn’t dampen anyone’s experience.”Winn, a
junior, entered the long jump seeded 11th, but fought off a
grueling three-hour delay on Thursday to finish as an All-American
and receive third-place honors with a jump of 18 feet, 7
inches.

“Even with this weather, Jasmine was able to stay within the
situation and perform,” Johnson said. “She was able to show up when
others – because of the weather or other reasons – didn’t show up.
She came to perform, and she succeeded.”

Also competing on Thursday was sophomore Tokunbo Adeniji, who
ran the 400-meter dash. Adeniji set her personal best time of 55.49
seconds at the California Collegiate Athletic Association
Championships earlier this month and ran a 55.82 seconds on
Thursday, placing her 12th.

“If you look at what she’s done this season, she went from
running in the 58s to the 55s,” Johnson said. “For her it was about
getting here and getting hungry to be here again, and this meet
woke her up.”

Senior distance runners Adrienne Schumm and Claudia Garcia
wrapped up their careers on Thursday when both competed in the
10,000-meter run. Garcia finished 11th in the event with a personal
best time of 36 minutes, 27.04 seconds. Schumm finished 15th with a
time of 37 minutes, 25.33 seconds.

“For Adrienne to come out last week and run a 10,000 and then
come back one week later and do it again just shows her
determination to get here,” Johnson said. “She’s one of the top 17
10K runners in the nation, and there’s something to be said about
that.”

Garcia’s previous personal best of 36 minutes, 35.27 seconds was
set in April and had her seeded 17th in the event.

“Any time you come to a national championship meet and hit a
[personal record], you prove to yourself that you belong with the
best, and that’s what Claudia did,” Johnson said. “Adrienne and
Claudia are both talents, and I’m going to miss them as seniors. I
couldn’t have had two better ones to come in to work with. I’m
happy for them.”

On the men’s side, CCAA Championship runner-up sophomore
Jonathan Williams finished 22nd in the 100-meter dash with a time
of 10.75 seconds.

“Jonathan’s still just a sophomore, and that’s my
accountability. It’s up to me to find a system for Jonathan to
adapt to what I’m trying to teach,” Johnson said. “As we develop
and get a better understanding of what we expect out of each other,
Jonathan is going to be fine.”

On Friday, seniors Joaquin Ortiz and Sofiane Meniri completed
the final races of their Bronco careers when they competed in the
800-meter run. Ortiz finished 13th with a time of 1 minute, 52.31
seconds, while Meniri finished 19th with a time of 1 minute, 54.25
seconds.

“The basic track fan wouldn’t understand how Sofiane runs and
how much he puts into it,” Johnson said. “He learned a lot about
his race, and he’s going to have a great summer season in
France.”

Ortiz, who entered the season with a personal best of 1 minute,
56.9 seconds, wrapped up his career on a high note, with his final
race being just .05 of a second off the personal best he set at the
Occidental Relays earlier this month.

“Joaquin Ortiz is amazing. He got here to Nationals, and the
show really didn’t end,” Johnson said. “I told him afterwards to
just look around; he’s one of the nation’s best at this event, and
it was his work ethic that got him here. He’s had an outstanding
senior year, and he’s an outstanding senior leader.”

Johnson, the Broncos first-year head coach from CCAA rival Cal
State Stanislaus enjoyed his first year as a Bronco and is looking
forward to the future.

“We had seven athletes qualify for the national championships,
and I’m hoping to build on that,” Johnson said. “It’s been a long
year and a good year, and I wouldn’t change anything.”

One giant leap for victory

Brandon Tan/Poly Post

One giant leap for victory

One giant leap for victory

One giant leap for victory

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